In order to make this work all you need to do is respond to the issue at hand, and then if possible leave your own question for people to help answer.
So here we go!
My problem is this. My grandmother is finalizing her will and wants to have all a non christian open air burial with out a tomb stone. Yes that means with out a casket 8 feet down."True worm food" Her words not mine. Anyways my whole family is up in arms about this recent news. I think it is a great idea but I seem to be the only one on her side. Any ideas on how to help this situation with the family?
(I love the new text editing box Morgan!)
You have two options:
1. Ask them to respect her wishes and say it's disrespectful to the deceased to argue with their last wishes, and that their wants have nothing to do with them and shouldn't.
2. Realize that the funeral and burial is not for the deceased, who is gone, but for the living as a way for them to cope and grieve the way they need to to get over the passing. It helps some to visit a grave site which is marked with a stone, leave gifts and tokens, and not have to think about there being a skeleton there or bugs eating the body. And that much as your grandmother wishes for an Atheistic burial, that she may want to keep her family in mind and make a compromise, such as cremation and scattering or burial in an urn. Nature will eventually take its course no matter her choice; bodies do not stay nice and embalmed and buried in a pretty casket forever. That being said, she may also wish to be buried in a decorated wooden box, un-embalmed, where the family gets their wish (maybe also with a small tombstone), but where nature will take its course pretty immediately afterward (where the wood will crack and swell from moisture, and the "worms" will get what they need either way.
Just a thought.
I don't really have an 'issue', but I can pose a question anyway:
I have Asperger's Syndrome, but it is not recorded on paper (on purpose; first, no money to get a formal diagnosis, and no insurance; but if I were to explore that option, because I want to join the military and am not sure if I want any 'problems' on my medical record before going in-- I am told that sometimes autistics are turned away from the military for fear they won't be able to cope with military life). Should I seek a formal diagnosis before and be honest, or cope as well as I know I will until graduation and get a diagnosis afterward when I've proved I can perform my duties without a problem?
As far as I've seen of the military in my country, trying to find anyone who isn't considered to be on the scale of autism, would be quite a challenge.
Personally I'd refrain from making any formal declarations. I probably wouldn't be persuaded to ever really bother either unless it causes definate problems. This might be my male thing of "not wanting to admit a problem", but without any detrimental effects to my duties, I see no point in making an issue of it.
Good luck though and if the military life is without shadow of a doubt, the life for you, why let anything stand in your way.
If it were you, how pissed would you be if you had specific wishes and your selfish family wouldn't follow them? I'm sorry, but don't we get a say in anything anymore? Not even how we want our last hurrah to be? If they want to set up a shrine somewhere to appease their need to mourn, great, but let Grandma have her way, damnit!
My husband's best friend died this past spring, and on Christmas my husband went to the cemetery to "have a beer with him." He asked if I wanted to go. Before I could help myself, I replied, "No, I think cemeteries are stupid." Well, that was not very sensitive and I immediately felt bad. A lot of people get a sense of comfort in visiting the dead in cemeteries. Plus, it's not entirely true that I don't like cemeteries. I love reading headstones, and when I used to live in town it was my favorite place to go jogging (nice, smooth paths, peaceful, interesting scenery). But in general, to me, dead is dead. You can go visit my body, but that is for you and not at all for me. In my opinion (and it's just mine), funerals and burial and such is a big ol' money scheme. I would like to be donated to science, cremated and scattered on a garden, or buried in my backyard. Don't spend thousands on my dead body!
The point is, let Grandma have her way. Find another route to soothe those who require ritual and are going to be missing her.
Thumbs up to your grandmother for being so cool.
Depending on the law where you are, could she not put you as sole executor of her will, so you alone would be responsible for carrying out her final wishes. This might also be a wake-up call for the other family members, that they're not trusted by your grandmother to do as she wishes.
I think our colleagues have said it all already, but if I could just highlight what's been said...
I think a good point of view you could help your family see is the fact that your grandmother is so relaxed about death, so why should they be that stressed up? I wish I had such a positive point of view about my own death.
A good friend of mine, who died a couple of years ago in Massachusetts also had a similar way of seing his own death. He had his tomb stone prepared way before he died. He took me once to his cemetery and we took some pictures together in front of his stone, it contained two phrases, one engraved on each side of the stone:
Front side: "It knew it would happen"
back site: "I told you I was sick" .
He was a funny person and I loved him, so did hundreds of people, he was a very loved person in his area. Nowadays when I think of him, I have a big smile on my face. That's a good positive thing!
Because of his example, I decided to have my own epitaph, it will read: 'we're lovers of the skies, that's why we're not affraid of the darkness' . It's not original, but it tells my point of view.
Put yourself on the donor list. You don't have to tell them right away. Most probability dictates that you are not going to die right away, and in the natural way of things, you will bury your parents, so it will be a non-issue. However, if you feel like you need closure, clearly state your position and why you think it is the right thing to do in a letter to be opened post-mortem explaining your decision in case anything DOES happen, and you may find that getting it out on paper will help you in broaching the situation while you are still alive.
I have a four year old adopted brother. My father, who has lost two wives (the first one being my mother), is engaged again. I am mostly living with my girlfriend these days, but still have a lot of things at home. This past Thanksgiving, my father took my brother and his fiance to Disney World, and to Indiana for Christmas. I was not invited. I know, I probably would have declined anyway, but it feels as though he is trying to reboot his life and family again, and I am left out. This is not the first time I have felt this way. I felt it when he married Kelly when I was 19 (second wife) and again when he adopted Gehrig (my brother). He makes highly emotionally charged decisions that affect other people without giving the courtesy of a discussion, and then brushes off the aftermath as not being related to his actions. I have spoken with him about this before, but feel just too fed up and don't have the energy to do it again. I understand my anger is probably making me irrational, and I know this could be solved with a conversation. I just don't want to admit my feelings were hurt.
I'm experiencing a little of this, myself. I was the baby of my family until I was 15. My family adopted my sister, who was 2 months at the time, and a year later, my brother and sister - also infants. Now that I'm out of college and on my own, my parents have built a brand new, huge house, and the three kids want for nothing. They'll never have to experience the pain of our parents splitting up (temporarily) or moving to a new town in middle school. They never want for anything come Christmas, and my parents get them more than they get me or my older brother. Petty, I know. But it seems, like your situation, that they are trying to start over. They have the finances now that they didn't have then, and they can get a redo with a new set of kids. I've been hurting about this for years, and, truly, I wouldn't wish anything less for my younger siblings, but it still seems unfair.
Trying to make my mother see why I'm hurt only leads her into thinking I'm jealous and looking for handouts...so, instead, I've tried to just heal myself. And, after the long story, I guess that's my advice to you.